Arches National Park in Utah Is Now a Certified Dark Sky Park

Jul 11, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s officially stargazing season in the US, and could there be a better way to celebrate than by visiting the newest addition to the International Dark Sky Park Association? The time is ripe to head to Arches National Park, which has just become the fourth International Dark Sky Park in Utah.

Arches National Park is known primarily for its unique rock formations and wind-worn sandstone. It currently holds the title for “the highest density of rock arches in the world” according to Lonely Planet, and it’s now also being recognized for its commitment to dark sky preservation.

Qualifying for outstanding “dark sky preservation” involves a rigorous application process. In the eyes of the International Dark Sky Park Association (IDA), it mostly comes down to if the park is using public education to spread awareness about light pollution and if they’re enforcing area-wide responsible lighting policies. Long before gaining Dark Sky Park status, Arches has been hosting regular astronomy programs and events over the past couple of years.

To celebrate the new title, park rangers from around the Colorado Plateau will host a ceremony and “star party” on Sept. 21 at the brand new Panorama Point stargazing area. If you’re out of state and are planning to visit for the festivities, to get to the park you can use your points and miles by either flying into Salt Lake City International (SLC) and driving about four hours, or flying into Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), which is approximately two hours from the park. When you get there, you’ll have a wide array of options for accommodations — but we recommend reserving a campsite so you can sleep under the stars. 

IDA communities, parks and sanctuaries are scattered across the country (and the rest of the world) — including well-known landmarks like The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree. To find a stargazing spot near you, check out the Dark Sky interactive map.

Featured image by Adam Springer via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.